I have been seeing three business terms popping up with greater frequency recently, and it is interesting to explore these ideas within a combined context. Those terms are: customer data integration (CDI), master data management (MDM) and enterprise information integration (EII).

According to Gartner, CDI is described as "the combination of the technology, processes and services needed to create and maintain an accurate, timely and complete view of the customer across multiple channels, business lines and enterprises, where there are multiple sources of customer data in multiple application systems and databases." A December 2004 report from the META Group (now part of Gartner), says "MDM is about tackling the decades-old problem of redundant and conflicting data" associated with "core information (e.g., customers, products, locations, suppliers, partners)." Lastly, according to Webopedia, EII "combines various data sources at an enterprise level in order to support applications that present or analyze the data in new ways. EII provides a service that allows administrators, developers and end users to treat a broad array of data sources as if they were one large database or data service."

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